a quote for {joy}

“joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. in an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. the moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out.”

Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts pg. 177

my word for 2013 is Joy. {you can read more about why i picked that word hereso, i’ve been  noticing little comments or discussions about joy as i’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book for the second time. {as if you couldn’t tell from all my joy quotes recently!}

but this one has struck and nerve. i find myself wondering if i am holding my flame of joy tightly- like a hand held open or if i am trying to protect the flame by closing my hand over it.

look at it another way, am i holding onto things in this life too tightly?

am i too focused on my time- trying to protect and plan it to the minute every day? but even so is time slipping through my fingers like sand? {um, yes, everyday!}

am i holding my family and relationships so tightly in an effort to protect them that i’m not trusting God to take care of them?

am i so focused on trying to do things MY way that i’m missing out on HIS way?

i remember once as a little girl talking to my mom about this. she had just told me that she loved God more than she did Daddy. i could hardly believe her. really, more than Daddy? that blew my mind. then i wondered if she loved God more than me. and she said yes, she loved God first, then Daddy, then her children. then, i’m not sure how we actually got there, but then she talked about how she had to trust God with Daddy and her children. she had to “hold them with an open hand” and trust that God would take care of us because she couldn’t always be there to take care of us herself. again… a little girl could hardly understand such things but i’ve remembered that discussion in multiple situations in my life.

i’ve just never connected that idea with the JOY that comes from God. joy is a gift, so isn’t it mine to hold on to? but, as the quote above says, the moment we grasp it tightly- in an effort to control it how we want- is the moment that light of joy flickers out like a flame without enough oxygen.

joy is a gift that only comes when we are surrendered to God’s will in our life… in the thankful moments… in the humble moments.

joy is a gift but we should always be seeking it.

that is how Paul can say in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”


so what do you think about this concept? do you like this quote too? do you think it makes sense to compare joy to a flame, flickering in the palm of your open hand?


may the flame of joy flicker bright for you today, my friends.

xo-kimberly renee

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